Pension Credit Explained

According to Age UK, about 4 million older people are entitled to Pension Credit, yet around 1 in 3 of those eligible are not claiming it.

Pension credit is an income-related benefit which is provided in two ways (of which you may be eligible for one or both). These are:

  • Guarantee Credit: this tops up your weekly income level to the guaranteed minimum level.
  • Savings Credit: this is extra money which you have some savings or if your income is higher than the state pension.

Are you Eligible

1. Guarantee Credit

To claim guarantee credit, you have to be a minimum of 62 years old. This is the latest age which was updated in April 2014.This is to top up your pension if it is below the minimum amount. The lower weekly limit at the moment is £148.35 if you are single or £278 if you’re part of a couple.

2. Savings Credit

If you are 65 or over, it may be worth looking into your eligibility for savings credit. This is for people with a weekly income less than around £190 if you are single or £278 if you’re part of a couple. If you comply with both of these, you may be able to get Savings Credit. You can claim one or both parts of pension credit.  These are estimate amounts which could be much higher if you are severely disabled, a carer, or a homeowner with a mortgage or service charges.

Perks of Pension Credit

There are many additional perks to claiming pension credit outside of the addition to your weekly pay packet.  These include:

  • You will likely be exempt from having to pay Council Tax.
  • You will get free NHS dental treatment and you can claim for financial aid towards the cost of glasses.
  • You will automatically get a Cold Weather Payment of £25 when the temperature is below 0°C for 7 days in a row.
  • You may be eligible for help with mortgage interest, ground rent and service charges.
  • If you are a carer, you could get up to £34.20 a week in Carer Premium.

How to Claim

You can claim by calling the Pension Credit claim line on 0800 991234. It will be quicker if you have these details to hand:

  • National Insurance number
  • Bank account details
  • Full details about your savings, income and investments
  • Pension information
  • Housing cost details
  • Partner’s details

Don’t be put off of claiming your pension credit if you think that it’s difficult or that you think you won’t be eligible. All it takes is one phone call and you could easily top up your weekly income. 

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